Spring Preview: Washington's 6 Most Anticipated New and Updated Venues
2. With 10 locations around the world, Paris-based Buddha Bar comes to Mt. Vernon Triangle in April. Decor plans for the 170-seat restaurant and 50-seat lounge include low lighting, Asian tattoo murals, and the signature golden Buddha statue as the focal point. The menu is Asian rim with French infusion. A sunken patio will also seat 60.
3. Closed after a devastating fire in mid-December, award-winning Equinox reopens the week of April 13 with lighter, more modern decor and a recalibrated menu designed to give diners more menu options for main course accompaniments (sauces and side dishes). Chef Todd Gray and his wife/co-owner, Ellen Kassoff Gray, have replaced the dark paneling in the private dining 12-seat Wine Room with frosted glass walls for an airy look and feel.
4. After a four-year wait, noted chef Roberto Donna will open Galileo III in the former Butterfield 9 space in late April. The 80-seat restaurant includes a flexible 45-seat private dining room. Decor details in the 6,100-square-foot space include a fireplace in the entry, an open kitchen, and a color scheme of copper and sienna. In addition to the chef’s seasonal menu of traditional Italian fare with a modern, lighter touch, 100 pre-order dishes, such as suckling pig, will be available on the restaurant’s Web site.
5. On schedule for a May opening, Penn Quarter adds another Latin venue with the more than the 9,000-square-foot Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar, which promises 1950’s Havana decor and live entertainment. Staff will serve innovative Latin cuisine in a 200-seat dining room decorated with murals of Cuban life. Plans call for a 50-seat bar and lounge with an extensive rum selection and a 66-seat sidewalk café.
6. Also in May, chef Robert Wiedmaier (Marcel’s, Brasserie Beck, Brabo, and Brabo Tasting Room) expands his empire to Bethesda with Mussel Bar by RW, a 4,000-square-foot Flemish gastropub. Guests will find a 130-seat interior composed of rustic wood with polished cement floors in both the bar and dining room. On the menu: mussels four ways, wood-fired savory tarts, and more than 40 Belgian beers.
- Featured Venues/Suppliers: